The death of the Queen of England rocked the world, but as soon as the royal children started streaming into Balmoral, the world took note and predicted an outcome. It wasn’t the Covid that killed her, or the world wars she participated in – nope, at the end of the day, it was simply old age. About time too – at 96 years old, she lived way past the life expectancy of women in England, which is stated to be about 83.
The world also watched in shock as the Commonwealth countries of the world, and countries that Britain invaded, rejoiced in her passing – Irish football games were seen to be singing ‘Lizzie’s in a box’ at the matches, across their grandstands; Nigerian writers and lecturers were barred from Twitter and victimised by Jeff Bezos himself for saying she’s dead; Caribbean countries barely issued governmental apologies, instead choosing to remind the world that they’ve been trying to detach from this neo-colonialism for some time now.
Here, of course, our then president declared four days of mourning. To be honest, I’m not sure what the politics of the time entail – I suppose we must look like we are sad that the person responsible for bringing concentration camps modelled after Nazi Germany to Kenya is dead, even though we lost millions of Kenyans ourselves in the fight against that government. Even though, as we speak, right now, today, Kenyans, through the National Museums of Kenya, are still fighting to get our artefacts back from British museums, artefacts including but not limited to the head of Koitalel Arap Samoei, the Nandi chief who put up a brave resistance against the British, and was basically tricked into death by a lying British general who intimated a chance of a treaty.
We must be sad and fly flags at half mast, regardless of the fact that the British army has been and continues to commit widespread crimes at their army bases and all over the country, without being prosecuted for them; families and veterans of the Mau Mau war, fighting against these British ancestors and their descendants, have been tirelessly suing for loss of life, negligence, wrongful death, the whole gamut of any rights that you can possibly have taken from a human being. But no – we must note – the Queen is dead. Ding dong, I say, the Queen is dead.
It reeks of a colonial hangover that is still so ardently present in all our diplomatic, political, and socioeconomic dealings. Kenya, and indeed, Africa, is still acting like we are not the next frontier. We act as if we are not where all the businesses are flocking to, as if we don’t have the youngest continental populations of the whole world. We still think that we are not the prize, which is why we are still pandering to nonsense like vaccine apartheid (when the Oxford vaccines that were researched and tested here were suddenly not valid for international travel), and mourning a monarchy that should have ended decades ago (who is it for and what are these taxes being used for in a country with an astronomical cost of living?).
At some point, perhaps in King Charles’ (!) reign, Kenya and its leaders will stop playing these sandbox games and take our place in an arena that has long since benefited from us playing small. Perhaps our new government – and theirs – will sense the change that is coming; through citizens, especially the youth, who don’t understand the need for these systems and ruling classes that currently exist, and will therefore abolish them for a new world order. There’s really only so far you can take the idea of a government paying for the court fees of a paedophilic heir. And maybe we, as Kenyans, will divest from the false romance of a distant queen, and lay this detrimental idea to rest, along with her body. Aluta Continua.